Yesterday, Formula 1 conducted the third edition of the Virtual Grand Prix Series and the viewership figures are in. While esports events lack the charm and excitement of regular Grands Prix, it isn’t stopping people from tuning in to get their dose of racing action. Charles Leclerc was partly responsible for F1’s impressive viewership.
F1 Virtual Grand Prix viewership figures
The numbers are nowhere near F1’s conventional viewership figures but considering the event is basically real-life F1 drivers switching to a video game, the numbers aren’t bad at all. As per the statistics posted by Esports Charts, nearly 300k fans tuned in to watch the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix. A sizeable chunk of that viewership is all thanks to Charles Leclerc.
Over 60k people tuned into Leclerc’s Twitch channel last night to watch the Monegasque stream his race. Leclerc’s closest rival in terms of viewership was sim racer, Jimmy Broadbent. However, the staggering viewership numbers shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Leclerc’s influence in Formula 1.
The Monegasque is one of the most popular drivers in the sport today. Additionally, being a Ferrari driver also helps in capturing a massive fanbase. Leclerc joined Twitch just over two weeks ago and has already amassed a substantial subscriber count on the streaming platform.
282k Peak Viewers on F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix Series China. #F1Esports @F1 #VirtualGP
TOP streamers by Peak Viewers (excl. @F1 channnels):
#1 – @Charles_Leclerc – 63k
#2 – @Gaules – 24k
#3 – @JimmyBroadbent – 18k
— Esports Charts (@EsportsCharts) April 19, 2020
Can Charles Leclerc make it 3 in a row?
Leclerc won his second F1 esports event in a row with a victory at the Virtual Chinese Grand Prix. The Monegasque started on pole and had Alex Albon for company on the front row of the grid. At the start, Charles got off to a good start and pulled away from the pack. However, the Monegasque had to defend from Alex Albon for the majority of the race. The pair engaged in an enthralling display of wheel to wheel racing but the Monegasque ultimately triumphed.
Like his Formula 1 career, Charles now has 2 victories under his belt. He’s the unofficial championship leader of the Virtual Grand Prix Series and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
While the official F1 esports event doesn’t have the complete driver participation, it is slowly getting there. The first event had only 2 drivers taking part, which rose to 6 for the second and an all-time high of 7 in yesterday’s race. It’s highly unlikely but if F1 can convince the likes of Hamilton or Vettel to compete, their viewership figures will go through the roof.
Scuderia Ferrari fan.